Cardiac arrest causes and symptoms – naturopathy – naturopathic specialist portal

Cardiac arrest causes and symptoms

This text complies with the specifications of medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been reviewed by medical doctors and physicians.

I46 ICD codes are internationally valid codes for medical diagnoses. They are found e.g. in medical reports or on incapacity certificates.

In a cardiac arrest, the chance of survival drops by the minute. First responders should therefore know which measures can contribute to life-saving. (Image: Miriam Dörr /

On Cardiac arrest threatens life and many people of all ages and sex die from it. No blood flows through the blood vessels, and the blood circulation stops. The organs are depleted of oxygen, and death sets in after a few minutes. 100,000 people die of this sudden cardiac death each year in Germany.

The heart failure is shown by missing pulse. After three seconds, the person becomes dizzy, after 30 seconds he loses consciousness, after two minutes the breath stops, after four minutes the brain suffers damage, because it gets no more oxygen.

Cardiac Arrest Immediate Action: What to do?

Lay people are often afraid to resuscitate because they fear they might do something wrong. They must act immediately, because a heart-lung pressure is the only way to provide oxygen to the heart and organs. So she saves life. In an emergency, the following three points should be considered:

  1. Call the emergency doctor: First, the emergency call must be called. To determine if the person is unconscious, we speak to him and shake him by the shoulders. If he does not respond, we’ll call the ambulance.
  2. Check breathingSecondly, we check if the person is breathing. We push his head backwards and hold our ear to his mouth. If he does not breathe, gasp, or gasp, we’ll start resuscitation.
  3. Perform chest compressionsThird, we perform the cardiac massage. For this we kneel to the side of the unconscious and lay >Perform chest compressions

After the person concerned has been checked and the emergency doctor has been called, one should Chest compressions be carried out if no pulse or no respiration can be detected. According to Malteser Hilfsdienst, the best way to combine chest compressions with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Proceed as follows:

    Be >Do not be afraid to do something wrong: even if a rib breaks, this is no problem in this situation, because a broken rib heals – but whoever is dead is dead. (Image: heilpraxis / Neyro /

Cardiac arrest causes

A cardiac arrest often follows a heart attack, but it can also be caused by a heart failure, by the failure of the sinus node or by an electric shock. Cardiac arrest is often preceded by ventricular fibrillation: the heart muscles contract quickly but uncoordinated without pumping.

Cardiac arrest has many causes. Often the heart rhythm is disturbed, that is, the heart beats irregularly or in the wrong order. Medication, blood loss, shock after an accident, electric shock, excessive exercise without appropriate training or stress can also trigger a cardiac arrest.


A cardiac arrest must be diagnosed immediately, otherwise the person is dead after a few minutes. Fortunately, the diagnosis is simple and can be recognized in the following conditions. If all three points match, there is a cardiac arrest.

  • unconsciousness: The person concerned is no longer responsive and lies motionless on the ground.
  • breathlessness: The patient is not breathing anymore.
  • Pulse is missing: In affected people can no longer determine pulse.


The affected person needs immediate treatment, because when the heart is stationary, it no longer supplies the brain and all organs with oxygen. The blood circulation stops and no blood reaches the vessels.

If the paramedics arrive, use a defibrillator. He sends electric shocks to the heart and often starts beating again. The chest compressions continue to operate, so that no body parts die off.

If the patient survives, he will first come to a clinic. The doctors are investigating the cause of the cardiac arrest and the danger that it will recur.


A cardiac arrest can not always be prevented. Even people who lead a “healthy life”, so eat well and exercise a lot, die of heart failure. But overweight, smoking and alcohol increase the risk of suffering cardiac arrest.

Excessive use of drugs that keep the body above normal to dance through the nights like ecstasy or cocaine increase the risk of cardiac arrest enormously. Warning signs such as tachycardia are known to chronic consumers, but usually they replace the danger of sudden dying.

Often there were already heart diseases, such as covert heart attacks, heart failure or coronary heart disease. Prevention here means preliminary examination, so regularly check the doctor’s heart.

It is important to look for symptoms that precede cardiac arrest. These include severe pain behind the sternum, pressure on the chest, shortness of breath and a feeling of tightness in the chest. If we feel these signs, we should immediately call an ambulance.

Even if we sometimes get black before our eyes, without knowing why, there may be a heart problem. While these symptoms may have other causes-harmless and less harmless-we should take them seriously.

A heart-pressure massage can save lives. (Image: Dron /

Respiratory arrest during sleep

Snoring not only disturbs the bed neighbor, it can also damage the brain, namely, when there is a sleep apnea syndrome, which is characterized by irregular snoring with long pauses.

During breathing, breathing stops again and again. Especially people over 60 years have this problem. This respiratory arrest is probably due to creeping cell death. The older we get, the less PreBötC cells the body has. These are signal cells, and when they disappear, the risk of apnea increases during sleep.

People with acute sleep apnea can help themselves with over-pressure. To do this, they put on a mask that regulates breathing during sleep.

Cardiac arrest during sports

In marathon, the Greek armies of antiquity triumphed over the numerically far superior Persians. A runner, sometimes called Thersippos, now Pheidippides, ran according to legend over 40 km to announce the victory to the Athenians. Then he collapsed dead.

The story came a long time after the battle, and similar myths of heroic runners circulated all over Greece – presumably a moralizing narrative to set a precedent for the gunners in Athens.

The fable, however, shows that death by cardiac arrest in extreme sports was well known to the Greeks, because that’s how the sudden cardiac death of athletes who exceed their physical limits.

Sudden heart failure, for example, rarely occurs in professional football players, but is one of their occupational hazards.

Competitive sports four times the risk of cardiac arrest, because physical stress is one of the factors for disturbing the heart rhythm, especially if the person already suffering from hidden heart problems. However, this does not apply to regular low-level exercise, as it alleviates the risk of cardiac arrest.

So if you suffer from shortness of breath during football training, feel pressure on your chest, or who becomes “dizzy”, you should take the warnings seriously. If he suffers from cardiovascular disease, this sport is not for him.

Coach “old school”, who think that the person affected must “sometime kick his ass”, play with the lives of those entrusted to them, and such Macho-Attire are probably even more prevalent in the county league than in professional sports, where the training has at least a sports science base.

Cardiac arrest became an issue after national player Gregory Mertens lost consciousness in a game in Belgium, and a defibrillator did not prevent him from being forced into an artificial coma at the clinic.

In 2012, Fabrice Muamba of the Bolton Wanderers reached the quarterfinals in England. A defibrillator and chest compressions made his heart beat again after 78 minutes. But the Italian Piermario Morosini died of cardiac arrest during a second division match.

The danger with amateurs is just as large as in the national league, but on-site defibrillators are often missing and no doctor is nearby. That’s why FIFA calls for defibrillators for every stadium. A device suitable for laymen increases the chances of survival from 5 to 75%.

The biggest risk is for golfers. On the one hand, they are on average much older than other athletes, and so the risk of heart disease is already high anyway, on the other hand golf is associated with an enormous physical effort and mental concentration, which the sufferers often underestimate.

Today, there are defibrillators for laymen who only need eight seconds to pass the energy to the body. Nobody needs to read an instruction manual. The device tells the helper what to do. The defibrillator independently analyzes whether treatment is necessary – using electrodes that are applied to the body. Modern defibrillators also notify the rescue service of their own accord.

Particularly at risk are people who make a radical lifestyle while getting rid of an addiction. Former heroin addicts or dry alcoholics sometimes fall into the extreme and fanatically doing sports to revive body and mind. If they overdo it, they will add a new one to the old factor of cardiac arrest: they will overburden their drug-weakened cardiovascular system.

Dry alcoholics are well advised to take a slow approach to sports and be accompanied by a coach, whether they are doing weight training or jogging. This is particularly true because former addicts lose the feeling of what is good for their body and do not perceive the signals.

But even people without bias should operate competitive sport carefully. Joining the New York Marathon can be a valuable self-experience, but over-training can also be fatal. Preventing cardiac arrest means preparing yourself – not overly but regularly.

Promimates with heart failure

The most famous victim of cardiac arrest is Michael Jackson. The “King of Pop” died at 50 years old. Helpers tried to reanimate him – without success. At the UCLA Medical Center, the doctors kept him alive for an hour, but Jackson died.

Brian Oxman, one of Michael’s lawyers, suspected early on that the singer had swallowed a lethal dose of prescription medication. Before that, he would have warned him before. Oxman compared Jackson’s death to the end of Anna Nicole Smith, who also died of an overdose of medication.

In December 2009, actress Brittany Murphy died in the shower. Brittany took drugs, she suffered from anorexia, both of which increased the risk of cardiac arrest. She was only 32 years old.

In 2015, Udo Jürgens collapsed at the age of 80 when he went for a walk. Diagnosis: acute cardiac arrest.

The British singer Pete Doherty is notorious for his drug excesses. He also suffered a cardiac arrest and said, “If I had not been attached to a heart-lung machine, I would have been in Ireland. But my heart stopped. It was all pretty weird. The doctors said everything had something to do with drugs, but it was not. It was a kind of poisoning. What’s happened? No idea … At first I fumbled around with my hands – and then, everything stopped. My body almost stopped. “

Porn actress Carolin Ebert, better known as “Sexy Cora” died of cardiac arrest during breast surgery. The prosecution investigated the responsible anesthesiologist and the surgeon for negligent homicide.

The clinic rejected the responsibility: the blood count and the ECG had been examined, they had informed the patient about the risks and, moreover, the cardiac arrest had started before the actual operation. However, the court found the defendants guilty.

Freeze therapy at standstill of the heart

A new therapy is to help against cardiac arrest by the patient is “deeply cooled”, that is, the body temperature is lowered to 10 degrees Celsius.

The idea for this new therapy was provided by the Swedish doctor Anna Bagenholm, who suffered a ski accident in 1999. She fell down a mountain and broke into ice, her body lying in meltwater. She suffered the “cold death”. But the paramedics warmed her up again, and her heart began to beat.

New freeze therapy for cardiac arrest. (Image: Tim UR /

Peter Rhee of the University of Arizona developed a procedure to extend the period between life and death in the severely injured. It freezes the body down to 10 degrees Celsius and usually, so gaining precious minutes to supply the wounds.

If the cardiac massage fails, Rhee would like to use his technique. To do this, he first opens the thorax and pushes a cannula into the aorta, which pushes a cold salt solution into the bloodstream. Thus, the cells stop their work and are cryopreserved.

Rhee says it would take an hour more to treat the patient. Thereafter, a heart-lung machine warms up the body and pumps warm blood into the body.

Other doctors doubt the success of this “shock freezing”. However, patients in Germany are also “cooled” for resuscitation, but only to 32 degrees Celsius.

In Germany, there are ethical problems to perform the therapy. After all, it is an artificially induced “temporary death” of the cells, which the unconscious victims in the situation can not agree.

However, freezing therapy shows that medicine also has unused perspectives for cardiac arrest: Heart attacks and cardiac insufficiency are far less risky today than they were just a few decades ago, and sudden cardiac death, as fateful as no other end, can hopefully be achieved Avoid future better than we imagine today.

Myth sudden cardiac death

Sudden cardiac death was regarded as the most mysterious of all causes of death over the millennia. The ancient cultures saw it as anathema to the gods, who took revenge on the person concerned for a misdeed, and in the witchcraft delusion of the early modern period, the persecutors hallucinated the magic spell of a witch at work. In fact, hardly any death occurs so unexpectedly: People who seem to be in full bloom of their power suddenly collapse – and a few minutes later they are dead. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

  • Noheria, Teodorescu C, Uy-Evanado A, Reinier K, Mariani R, Gunson K, Jui J, Chugh SS: Distinctive profile of sudden cardiac arrest in middle-aged vs. older adults, The Heart Institute, International Journal of Cardiology 2013,
  • Martens E, Sinner MF, Siebermair J, Raufhake C, Beckmann BM, Veith S, Düvel D, Steinbeck G, Kääb S .: Incidence of sudden cardiac death in Germany: results from an emergency medical service registry Lower Saxony, Europace. Dec. 2014; 16
  • Erland Erdmann: Clinical Cardiology: Diseases of the heart, the circulation and the vessels close to the heart, Springer Verlag, 2011
  • Thorsten Lewalter, Berndt Lüderitz: Cardiac arrhythmia – diagnostics and therapy, Springer Verlag 2005
  • Merck & Co., Inc .: Cardiac Arrest (Available on: 26/08/2019),
  • Malteser Hilfsdienst e.V .: For emergencies: heart pressure massage simply explained (call: 26.08.2019),
  • German Heart Foundation e. V .: First aid in case of cardiac arrest: Immediate cardiac massage indispensable (call: 26.08.2019),

Important NOTE:
This article contains only general information and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.

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